[Profiles] Steve Jobs: History’s Best CEO

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Steve Jobs with the only furniture he found fit to purchase.

Steve Jobs with the only furniture he found fit for purchase.

When I was growing up, it was popular to say that a kid destined for success would be “the next Bill Gates”. But they aren’t going to say that anymore.  The best of the rising generation will be prophesied as “the next Steve Jobs”.

From a discalced and fruititarian kid-CEO to the father and savior of the world’s most valuable company, it’s hard to say whether he will be remembered more as an uncannily intuitive businessman whose every other opinion turned into millions of dollars or as an artisan who, more than anyone, infused soul into the cold and boxy tech world.

The purpose of this blog is to spur, inspire, and assist you to do amazing things. Steve Jobs did some amazing things. I’m floored by him, and I want to convey some of this to you. If you have dreams of business greatness or using art and design to change your part of the world, this piece is especially for you. It is a collection of the strange and wonderful stories and impressions of him that have stuck with me.

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Steve Jobs was never normal, per se. Even as a teen, he was a featherweight from constant fasting– or any number of his diets where he’d eat nothing but a single vegetable for weeks on end. Read More

Experiments in Productivity: The Action Method

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Image credit: actionmethod.com

During the months of February, March, and April 2012, I am trying out a new productivity system each month. After each months is over, I will write about how my experience with it went. In February 2012, I used Scott Belsky's "Action Method" as described in his book Making Ideas Happen. This is my review.

Before Occupy Wherever picked up the moniker, the top search results for “99%” was a the99percent.com, a well-designed website that advertised itself as “Insights on making ideas happen”. The title banner still betrays the etymology of the name– it’s from Edison’s famous quip “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration”.

The 99% is a website that is not about ideas; it’s about making ideas happen. The perspiration part, not the inspiration.  ”Too many ideas”, the site boldly proclaims.  ”Not enough action”.  So they made the Action Method.

The Action Method is a productivity system that I tried out for a month. First I will explain how you use it, then I will tell you whether or not I liked it.  Let’s get started.

The Action Method Explained

There are three things you keep track of for each project (a project can be any large-scale task at work or at home):

  1. Action Steps. These are specific concrete tasks. They are the bread and butter of gettin’ stuff done.  Action Steps start with a verb, and they don’t require more planning before you can start one.
  2. References. This is project-related material you may want to refer to later– links, videos, articles, books, e-mails, etc.
  3. Backburner Items. These are not actionable now, but they could be future projects or sub-projects.  They’re the brilliant ideas you have now but want to remember later.

Let’s talk about how this works for a very specific example: writing a blog.

First, potential Action Steps.

  • Brainstorm post topics
  • Write a post or two
  • Pitch a guest post to another blogger
  • Leave some comments on other related bogs

I want you to notice two things.

  1. Each Action Step starts with a verb
  2. Each Action Step requires no further planning before being able to start it

So no “Make sure blog readership continues to grow”. That’s bad. Read More